Strawberry Millefeuille

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Strawberry Millefeuille

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Strawberry Millefeuille – Strawberries and basil go surprisingly well together. Mixed in to fresh cream and layered with flaky, buttery puff pastry and a hint of white chocolate, this dessert looks elegant yet is simple to assemble. A lovely dessert for a summer meal.

Ingredients

  • 5 tbsp caster sugar, divided
  • 340g puff pastry, thawed if from frozen
  • Flour for dusting, if needed
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 600g strawberries, rinsed
  • 10-12 large basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
  • 100g good quality white chocolate, finely grated
  • Icing sugar for dusting

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.
  2. Sprinkle 1 tbsp caster sugar onto a large square of parchment paper. Unroll the chilled puff pastry and lay it on top of the sugared parchment. Lightly flour the puff pastry if needed, then use a rolling pin to roll the pastry out to roughly 25cm x 31 cm.
  3. Sprinkle another 1 tbsp caster sugar over the surface of the puff pastry and place another sheet of parchment paper on top. Carefully transfer the puff pastry with parchment onto a large baking tray, we find the easiest way is to slide it on instead of picking it up. Place another large baking sheet on top of the pastry along with 1 or 2 heavy oven dishes so that it weighs down the puff pastry while it bakes.
  4. Place in the oven and bake for about 25 – 30 minutes, until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and remove the oven dishes and the top baking tray and parchment. Leave to cool completely.
  5. To prepare the filling, combine cream with the remaining 3 tbsp caster sugar and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk until cream holds its shape. Set aside.
  6. Keep aside 6 strawberries for garnish, then remove stems from the remaining strawberries. Cut each into quarters, or smaller if strawberries are large.
  7. Finely slice the basil leaves, except those for garnish. Add the chopped strawberries and sliced basil to the whipped cream and fold through until well distributed. Refrigerate until needed.
  8. Once puff pastry has cooled completely, carefully peel the bottom sheet of parchment away. Use a large sharp knife to neaten the puff pastry into a 24cm x 30cm rectangle. Then cut the rectangle into 3 equal pieces so each piece is 24cm x 10cm.
  9. To assemble, lay one of the pastry rectangles on a cutting board. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the grated white chocolate, then spoon half of the cream mixture on top. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth it out and push it towards the edges of the pastry. Repeat this with a second rectangle of pastry, then use a large spatula to carefully lift the pastry and lay it on top of the cream of the first pastry piece.
  10. Finally, place the final piece of pastry on top. Push down lightly and evenly so that the top is laying level. Use a spatula or back of a knife to smooth the edges and fill any gaps.
  11. Gently press half of the remaining white chocolate along the one length, then do the same with the last of the chocolate on the other length. To serve, carefully cut the millefeuille into 6 pieces. To do so, gently hold the top piece of pastry in place right next to where you are cutting with a very sharp knife, use a sawing motion to cut through.
  12. Finally, place each piece on a dessert plate then dust with icing sugar and decorate with a reserved strawberry and one or two small basil leaves.
  13. Can be assembled and kept in the fridge for a few hours before serving but must be eaten on the same day as assembling as puff pastry will lose its crispness overnight.
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